With the increase in popularity of the sport over the last ten years, the amount of money that MMA fighters make has increased substantially. However, what many fans fail to realize is that there is a massive wage gap between household name fighters like Conor McGregor and lesser-known fighters in the UFC. Newer fighters may lack the agents and representation that superstar fighters have. This lack of resources can leave them at a significant disadvantage. MMA fighters, unlike professional basketball or football players, lack an organized association or union that can level the playing field for financial negotiations and help enforce fighters’ rights. For a great experience for Raleigh martial arts classes, call Gracie Raleigh.
While it is evident that MMA fighters make money from participating in fights, determining just how much a fighter makes from a fight can be difficult. For one appearance in 2017, Georges St. Pierre made $2,580,000. He earned $30,000 from a Reebok sponsorship, a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, and $2,500,000 to show in his Middleweight Championship fight with Michael Bisping at UFC 217. Conversely, the Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping made $40,000 from his Reebok sponsorship and was paid $500,000 to show for the same fight.
The average UFC fighter in 2017 made $132,109. Only 182 fighters in the UFC around the world made a six-figure income in 2017. That number represents only 34% of fighters involved in the UFC. The 14 men and women who earned championship belts in 2017 made an average of $666,643. In fact, almost half of the UFC’s fighters made less than the United States average household income of $45,000 per year in 2017.
Fighters do make money outside the ring as well. Endorsement and sponsorship opportunities can put cash in fighters’ pockets, but these deals are often reserved for the high performers in the sport. From BodyArmor to Reebok to Modelo, big-ticket fighters can count on endorsement deals and sponsorships to get additional cash. After Reebok signed an exclusive UFC deal the rules around sponsorships changed. Fighters became limited to a sponsorship stipend dependent upon how many Octagon fights they were performing in.
Raleigh Martial Arts Classes
If you’re ready to take your MMA training to the next level, call or come by the Gracie Raleigh gym. See why more and more up and coming MMA athletes are making the switch to Gracie. New students enjoy free classes and can take advantage of our open gym time, one-on-one training, and individualized nutritional support. Learn more about our Raleigh martial arts classes by calling and connecting with our experienced team today!